How Cannabis Business Owners Can Get Florida Cannabis Loans

Read our Advertiser Disclosure.
Contributor, Benzinga
February 22, 2023

While recreational marijuana remains illegal in Florida, cannabis use is approved for medical use. The Pensacola News Journal reports that over 500 cannabis dispensaries operate across Florida. 

Do you currently operate one of these businesses? If so, you may need additional financing to maintain or expand your business. Here’s what you need to know about obtaining a business loan for a cannabis business in Florida.

Can I Borrow from a Bank in Florida?

While marijuana use has gained wider acceptance, banks and other traditional lenders still aren’t keen to provide business loans for cannabis businesses. While that may change soon, cannabis business owners need to find alternative sources of financing to cover their needs.

Options for Obtaining Financing for an Existing Cannabis Business in Florida

Florida cannabis business owners have a few options for financing their businesses. Here are some of the best options for business loans for existing cannabis businesses.

Hard Money Lenders

A hard money loan relies on using property (such as real estate) as collateral. Hard money lenders are often individuals or private companies that can help borrowers get access to financing quickly.

The downside is that the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is relatively low. And because lenders expect repayment quickly (as little as one to three years), these types of loans can be risky. Cannabis business owners risk losing their property if they default on their loans, which may make this a last resort instead of a first option.


Some investors may be eager to invest in a company that dispenses cannabis. Florida cannabis investors may be able to provide an influx of working capital you can use to purchase additional supplies and equipment or implement a new marketing campaign.

With recreational marijuana still illegal in Florida, cannabis investors may be difficult to locate. If you do, angel investors can legally have a say in how your company is run, and they are entitled to a portion of the profits if you sell your business.

Direct Cannabis Lenders

Cannabis business owners may be able to obtain direct loans from a cannabis lender in Florida. These lenders specialize in the cannabis industry, understanding the unique regulations and requirements of current and aspiring dispensary owners.

These kinds of direct loans can be a great option since traditional banks don’t offer financing for cannabis businesses. But non-traditional lenders can be difficult to locate and properly screen. 

Make sure to compare interest rates from at least three different cannabis lenders to ensure you’re getting the best value and read online reviews to ensure that the lender is legitimate.

4 Top Ways to Use Cannabis Funding to Scale Your Business

If you currently operate a cannabis dispensary in Florida, business loans can help you scale your business. What kinds of things can you cover using cannabis financing?

Equipment Financing

Equipment financing will allow you to upgrade your existing equipment or purchase new equipment that can be used in the preparation, packaging or sale of cannabis products. A cannabis business loan can give your business the funding needed to expand operations and improve its overall efficiency.

Vendor Financing

As the name suggests, vendor financing provides the money you need to cover accounts payable — the money you owe to third-party vendors and suppliers. Cannabis business financing will ensure that your bills are paid, and in doing so, you’ll be better equipped to maintain long-term relationships with suppliers.

Line of Credit

A line of credit works a bit differently than other types of business loans. A line of credit will function more like a consumer credit card. You can spend money up to a certain credit limit, then only pay interest on the amount you borrow. 

This opportunity creates a rotating finance option, which can give you flexibility for ongoing improvements that don’t have a specific dollar value attached.

Dispensary Financing

Dispensary financing is uniquely designed to assist medical marijuana businesses such as those that currently operate in Florida. 

These loans can help new businesses obtain real estate, equipment and inventory, but existing cannabis business owners might use this as a financing option to purchase new products or expand into a new location.

Important Things to Consider When Applying for Cannabis Financing in Florida

In Florida, cannabis business financing can still be a challenge — though it’s not impossible. Here are some things to remember about cannabis financing, given current laws:

  • Traditional banks and lenders do not offer cannabis financing.
  • Edibles are not available until the local government establishes rules.
  • Dispensary operators must maintain a valid license.
  • Marijuana cultivators need an additional license from the Department of Agriculture.

These factors apply to existing cannabis business owners. Those opening a cannabis business for the first time will also need to be registered to do business in Florida for at least five years before applying for a dispensary license and have the financial means to support the dispensary for at least two years.

Cannabis Loans for a Growing Industry

Florida cannabis business owners face unique challenges, especially since the state does not permit recreational marijuana use. 

Still, medical marijuana business owners can take advantage of financing that helps them expand their business and may even help them prepare for the eventuality that recreational marijuana may one day be legalized.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is weed legal in Florida?


Recreational marijuana is illegal in Florida. Medical marijuana is legal. Edibles are technically legal, though they are unavailable until the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Florida Department of Health establish guidelines governing their use.


Can I get a cannabis business loan in Florida?


Cannabis business loans are available for medical marijuana business owners in Florida, though loans come from cannabis lenders rather than banks or traditional lenders.


Can U.S. banks lend to cannabis companies?


Technically, there’s no prohibition against U.S. banks lending to legal cannabis companies. But many don’t, mainly since marijuana legalization has been a state-by-state decision rather than a nationwide policy.